Oral health Knowledge and behavior among pregnant women in Kyela District, Mbeya, Tanzania
Aim: The present study was carried out to assess the level of oral health knowledge, behavior, experience and sources of oral health knowledge among pregnant women attending Kyela district hospital. Study participants and Methods: This was a hospital based Cross-sectional study among 380 pregnant women attending the Antenatal and child health clinics between August-September, 2006. Close ended structured questionnaire was used. The questionnaire gathered information on demographic variables, oral health knowledge, behavior, experiences, and sources of Oral Health Knowledge. The data was analyzed and processed by using SPSS program version 11.5. Frequency distribution and cross-tabulation were done. Chi square was used to test statistical significance with p-value set at 0.05. Results: Most (72.9%) of the pregnant women belonged to the age group 15-25 years. Only 16% of the pregnant women received oral health education, 40.9% of them knew the importance of dental checkup for their young children. In addition, only 3.7% of the women reported to have visited a dentist during pregnancy. Health facilities were the major sources of oral health education and that 97% of the women were brushing their teeth, and 14% experienced bleeding gums on brushing while 52% of the women knew that increased frequency of tooth brushing would reduce gum diseases. Conclusion: Most of the participants in this study had inadequate oral health knowledge although majority of them were brushing their teeth daily. Likewise, most of the participants had not received oral health education, and only few of them reported to have dental visits.
Keywords: Oral health, knowledge, behaviour, pregnancy
Tanzania Dental Journal Vol. 14 (2) 2007: pp. 47-52